If You Could Ban One Word or Term from Digital Advertising, What Would It Be?

Whether you’re looking for VC money, trying to squeeze some extra cash out of a client, or want some attention from the trade press – the chances are a buzzword will come in handy. And the fresher your word or term sounds, the higher your chances are of convincing idiots the world you’re the next big thing. However, having to listen to buzzwords can be grating for seasoned industry pros, so we gave a few of them a chance to say which word or term they’d banish forever from the industry if they got the chance.

Paul Frampton, CEO of Havas Media UK: ‘Native Advertising’

Paul Frampton“Native advertising” – is a misnomer as it describes more of an approach, not a channel. Most progressive digital platforms from Adwords to Twitter fall in to this category. For me, the rise of the term highlights the discrepancy between constantly improving media targeting and the inadequacy of creative to match. It’s the sentiment that is crucial for me, rather than what it does or doesn’t classify – brand messages which camouflage themselves beautifully within a 3rd party environment.

Rhys McLachlan, Videology: ‘Big Data’

Rhys McLachlanWhat is big data? How is it different to data?  The term is so overhyped and over used. Data is data. Data is complex and challenging to deliver well, trivialising the challenge businesses face, by calling it big data is unhelpful. The number of data points will only continue grow, so what comes next Gigantic data, Massive Data? Its still just data! The skill is in how you action from it, not how much you have.

Nigel Walley, Managing Director, Decipher: ‘Programmatic’

Nigel Walley, MD of DecipherSo many words…so much hate and anger! Conceptually any adjective used as a noun gets me riled up (digital, social, native…). What is it about the new media industry and nouns?  A whole industry that think they are too cool to use nouns!! But let’s focus. How about adjectives used as nouns which aren’t even accurate. That get’s us down to two – ‘digital’ and ‘programmatic’.  ‘Digital’ is just a stupidly misused word because EVERYTHING ON A SCREEN IS FUCKING DIGITAL NOWADAYS. But ‘programmatic’ has to take the biscuit.  It sounds like it means ‘automated using a software programme’. But apparently that’s not true because, as some new media numpty* explained to me, ‘that doesn’t reflect the human insight and intervention’.  Really?  Then it should just be called media planning using software…and in fact, as most media planners already use software, we could just call it media planning…

Nick Reid, Managing Director, TubeMogul: ‘Transparency’

Nick ReidIf there is a word we should ban, it should be “Transparency”, not because we do not believe in transparency and the importance of it, but more because the word has been so overused and mis-represented in the market that it is becoming meaningless. Transparency should be about knowing where your ad is to be delivered, before it is served. So knowing the content, context and environment the ad is delivered in. Transparency should be about line by line reporting on performance on a site and placement level, with disclosed economics. It should be about having reliable viewability data to know whether your ad was actually seen.

*worth mentioning the ‘new media numpty’ in question is the editor of VAN.

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